What does it take to be a good CFO? Expertise in accounting, financial reporting and internal controls, says the AICPA, and CPAs possess the skills to excel in the role.
That's the position the AICPA lays out in a new white paper, "CPAs as CFOs: Why You Should Have a CPA in Your C-Suite." The paper outlines the many new demands on the CFO and how CPAs are particularly attuned to handle the variety of operational, financial and compliance challenges.
"There is a dual role for today's CFO," said AICPA President and CEO Barry C. Melancon, CPA. "In the post-Sarbanes-Oxley world, for public and private companies alike, there is a heightened emphasis on financial reporting and internal control. At the same time, the CFO continues to be more involved in developing and executing business strategy in ways that create value for the company."
The AICPA points out that the CFO's responsibility for financial stewardship has never been more important than it is now. CPAs are required to continuously acquire new skills and knowledge and are bound by strict ethical standards.
“Whether in the executive suite, on the audit committee, or in other roles in the boardroom, the skills and values of CPAs are essential to meeting the challenges of leadership and governance in this rapidly changing and complex world,” the AICPA says.
Stu Benton, CPA, chair of the AICPA Business and Industry Executive Committee, which developed the paper, said the CPA's critical-thinking skills are key to success.
"CPAs, by virtue of their diverse experience in different business entities and various industries, are able to take in a broad range of information, pull it all together and add the requisite knowledge and insight to provide high quality strategic decision-making advice," he said.
Find the free, nine-page download at the AICPA Financial Management Center (http://fmcenter.aicpa.org).